29 NOV 2021

BBC Studios Drama Productions signs development deal with Mo Abudu

BBC Studios Drama Productions has announced a development partnership with Nigerian television pioneer Mosunmola "Mo" Abudu, founder and CEO of global entertainment network EbonyLife Media.

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Mosunmola "Mo" Abudu and Rowan Athale

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BBC Studios Drama Productions has announced a development partnership with Nigerian television pioneer Mosunmola "Mo" Abudu, founder and CEO of global entertainment network EbonyLife Media. The deal will see BBC Studios Drama Productions develop a new action-adventure series with Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Media. Titled “Reclaim,” the drama is written by Brit Rowan Athale and based on an original idea by Mo Abudu, Heidi Uys and Bode Asiyanbi.

A multi-award-winning media mogul and philanthropist, Mo Abudu has been awarded the MIPTV's Médailles d'Honneur, described by Forbes as "Africa's Most Successful Woman," and named among the 20 most powerful women in global entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter.

“Reclaim” combines pace and energy with intelligence and relevance to talk to big issues of colonialism, race and cultural ownership. A thoughtful six-part heist thriller, the show follows the story of a team of art thieves looking to return artworks stolen by the British Empire 125 years ago from the Kingdom of Benin, back to its rightful home in Nigeria.

“I am thrilled to announce this collaboration with EbonyLife. Mo Abudu has an extraordinary track record in bringing previously unheard stories to a wide audience. Reclaim’s breathtaking action-adventure is underpinned by thoughtful and timely themes and declares our shared intention to create stories which have both local and international resonance. Rowan Athale is the perfect writer to bring this story to life, having written both commercial hits and arthouse breakouts. I cannot wait to start production on this event series,”  said Priscilla Parish, Head of Drama at BBC Studios.

"It is a great pleasure to be working with Mo Abudu and BBC Studios on 'Reclaim'. The moment I heard Ebonylife’s pitch, I knew I had to join the team. I am excited and honoured be writing 'Reclaim,' and I look forward to sharing our ground-breaking series with a global audience,”  Rowan Athale added.

Lastly, Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife, commented: "’Reclaim’ is our first big-budget, global series, set partly in the UK. It is a dream come true for two reasons - first, it is a partnership with BBC Studios; second, the project will debut under EbonyLife Productions UK. We set up EbonyLife in London because our global strategy includes expansion to the UK and the United States. As Nigerians and Africans, we should see ourselves as world citizens and our storytelling, locations and networks should extend to every corner of the globe. I am delighted with this opportunity to extend our reach into the UK with a great story and a formidable partner".